US/EUROPE: PepsiCo in acquisitive mood - report

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PepsiCo has identified as many as 20 possible targets for acquisition in Europe, with the aim of increasing international sales and margins, according to press reports.

International sales currently account for about a third of group sales, which is significantly less than other comparable international concerns, the Financial Times said today (24 May).

"Europe is still very fragmented, whether you are talking juice and water, or looking at the snacks business," Mike White, chairman and chief executive of PepsiCo's international division, told the FT's German paper, FT Deutschland.

"I think there are lots of opportunities. They come along at their own pace. Our focus is to grow our existing business. And then there are what we call 'tuck under' acquisitions that can strengthen our position in a country. Certainly we will look at those and be active."

Not surprisingly, White would not be drawn on details of the targets. He added that not all of the takeover targets would eventually be pursued and it would not be depending solely on acquisitions in Europe for growth.

The company has already begun the process with two new acquisitions in recent months. It has just acquired Punica, a German juice maker, and also recently agreed to purchase the UK-based smoothie maker Pete & Johnny.

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

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